09 March 2007

LESOTHO : Anoca Games Date Set

THE inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa Zone Six Under-17 Games, which were scheduled to be held in Maseru, Lesotho, last October, will now be held at the beginning of next month in the same country.

The first Anoca Zone Six Under-17 Games were initially set to run from October 2-6 last year in Maseru but were postponed at the last minute following some misunderstanding between the organisers of the Games and the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (Zone Six).
Africa 2007
Robert Mutsauki, the secretary-general of the Confederation of Southern African National Olympic Committees, who were tasked by Anoca to run the Games, revealed yesterday that new dates have now been set for the staging of the same event.
Mutsauki said the inaugural Anoca Zone Six Under-17 Games will now be held in Maseru from April 5-8.
He also said they have now changed the age group of the Games from Under-17 to Under-18.
"The Cosanoc executive committee met with the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (Zone Six) secretariat in November last year in Maputo, Mozambique, to iron out our differences.
"In a nutshell, the outcome of the meeting was that we agreed to work together to develop sport in our region. We even agreed to formulate a memorandum of understanding as a way of formalising our resolution to co-operate.
"The Sucsa (Zone Six) secretariat then sent a recommendation to the troika of ministers in the region (whose chairman is the Namibian Minister of Sport) indicating that the Games should be held in Maseru between January and April this year.
"So, the ministers have since agreed that the Games should go ahead and recommended that they should be held during the April school holidays to avoid inconveniencing the schoolchildren. The dates of the Games have now been confirmed by the Lesotho National Olympic Committee and they will run from April 5-8," Mutsauki said.
Teams from the participating member countries of Cosanoc are expected to arrive in Maseru on April 4 for the Games.
They will depart on April 9.
Mutsauki said the Games were still designed for five disciplines -- soccer, athletics, tennis, taekwondo and boxing.
All the 10-member countries of Cosanoc --Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts Lesotho -- are expected to send teams to these Games.
"All the 10 members of Cosanoc have been notified of the new dates for the Games and preparations are already underway . . . We are expecting a 100 percent turnout.
"The rules of the Games will still remain the same except that the age-group has now been changed from Under-17 to Under-18 in order to accommodate some athletes who had initially been selected for last year's Games and were now over age.
"We realised that if we had not changed the age-group from Under-17 to 18, this could have disadvantaged some athletes who could now be over-aged and yet investment had been made in preparing them for last year's Games," Mutsauki said.
He said Anoca were still going to bankroll the Games "as they are aware that Cosanoc were not responsible for the postponement of last year's event."

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